With an early and more intense flu season upon us, getting your flu shot is even more vital than normal. But there is one group that still may not be getting the message for prevention: young adults. They are not a traditional early adopter of flu shots and some may even avoid them entirely, thinking that children or the elderly are more at-risk than a 20-or 30-something.
Not the case. Dennis Rochier, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care for Renown Medical Group, says that nationally we are seeing more flu patients under age 45 this year than ever before. Why? Because those age groups are the ones who are not voluntarily getting their flu shot.
Dr. Rochier has an important message for young people who think they are immune from the flu: you are at risk every day. “It is important to understand that people with the flu are contagious for a full day before they even start to experience symptoms, so it makes sense to guard against the flu at any time,” he continues.
So the solution is simple. Get a flu shot. And, it’s not too late. According to Dr. Rochier, if you get a flu shot today, you are protected within two weeks. And while flu patient levels are currently high in our region, it’s not at epidemic levels — and an epidemic may be avoided if more young people are diligent about getting a flu shot.
Here is a look at where to get a flu shot, plus information on when to visit Urgent Care or the ER for flu care.
Where to Get a Flu Shot
- Renown Medical Group: If you have a primary care physician with Renown Medical Group, call 775-982-5000 to schedule an appointment to receive your flu shot at your doctor’s office.
- Wellness Resources: Call Wellness Resources at Renown Health at 775-982-5433 to schedule an appointment. There is still plenty of flu vaccine available.
- In the Community: Influence Nevada has a searchable list of many regional flu-shot providers, like your local pharmacy. It’s a good idea, however, to call ahead just to make sure they have flu vaccine on hand or if appointments are required.
When to Come in for Flu Care
While we hope that you don’t get bitten by the flu bug this year, if you do find yourself under the weather and wondering if you should come in for care, Dr. Rochier details explains these flu signs warrant a visit to Urgent Care or the ER:
- Shortness of breath
- Symptoms that last longer than a week, as this may be a sign of post-flu pneumonia
- Chest pains
- Coughing up blood or a large amount of phlegm
- Inability to eat or drink anything
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines flu symptoms and provides guidelines on when to visit the ER and when to go to an Urgent Care center.
BestMedicine is your go-to source for the latest on flu in our region. Check out these stories we’ve recently published for additional information on keeping yourself and your family healthy this flu season.